First visit to Alaska…
In the summer of ’07, I lived out of a backpack and traveled throughout the Interior & Kenai Peninsula of Alaska by myself for 17 days. It was the ‘best’ trip that I had taken! Early that year, my co-worker in Anchorage and I were taking about how we were going to spend on PTO time for work, she suggested I visit Alaska. I asked her “are you crazy? Me? Go on vacation by myself and to Alaska, where there are bears? What was she thinking? I’m a city girl. “
My co-worker sent me brochures and booklets on Alaska, another friend told me about the ‘Milepost’, which is an excellent resource, almost like a bible for people traveling through Alaska. I was hooked after reading through these resources; Alaska really didn’t seem that bad after all. I started to plan where I wanted to go and what activities I wanted to do. Thank goodness for the internet this made the planning, contacting places to stay and organizing transportation very easy. Two weeks before I left, I learned from my mother that I had relatives scattered throughout Alaska. I met 4 out of 5 families of second cousins on my trip, which enhanced my trip even more.
I stayed in hostels throughout Alaska; they were rugged, yet comfortable. I met other travelers from all over the world, this intrigued me.
The air in Alaska is so clean; I especially noticed the crisp, clean air when I arrived off the train to Denali National Park. It was so quiet too. A quietness that I’ve never experienced before in my life, a quietness, that I only describe as if you could hear the wings of a bird as is flaps through the air.
I took a bush plane to this small old mining town McCarthy-Kennecott in the Wrangell Mountains. The runway was dirt. I partied with the locals & tourists at the only saloon in McCarthy and enjoyed the many talents of the open mic night. I felt like I had stepped back in time, like 30 – 40 years. The locals in the saloon resembled hippies or the show “grizzle Adams.” My cell phone didn’t work in only 2 places throughout Alaska, McCarthy and my last hostel stay on an island off of Resurrection Bay in Seward. One could only arrive to this hostel by water taxi. It was remote, with no running water, no electricity. Now, this truly was Alaska. I went sea kayaking with another tourist staying at that hostel. After dinner that evening, a number of us relaxed in the sauna in the woods. Contrary to belief, the sun didn’t really bother me at night. I pulled a few all niters, just see find out when the sun went down and when it came back up and because I was having a great time with my new travel friends. The sun did go down for about 4 hours a night during the end of July and early August.